Anorak

The Consumer | Anorak - Part 6

The Consumer Category

We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.

Eating more salt makes you less thirsty and burns fat

Eating salt is bad for you. So goes the message that has been hammered into us for an age. Salt improves the taste of things but a cost to your health. Eating too much salt means dying younger. But more research tells us that science is not settled. This is true to such a degree that we know learn that eating salt makes us less thirsty.

The New York Times reports:

The crew members were increasing production of glucocorticoid hormones, which influence both metabolism and immune function.

To get further insight, [Dr. Jens Titze, now a kidney specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research in Erlangen, Germany] began a study of mice in the laboratory. Sure enough, the more salt he added to the animals’ diet, the less water they drank. And he saw why.

The animals were getting water — but not by drinking it. The increased levels of glucocorticoid hormones broke down fat and muscle in their own bodies. This freed up water for the body to use.

But that process requires energy, Dr. Titze also found, which is why the mice ate 25 percent more food on a high-salt diet. The hormones also may be a cause of the strange long-term fluctuations in urine volume.

Scientists knew that a starving body will burn its own fat and muscle for sustenance. But the realization that something similar happens on a salty diet has come as a revelation.

Eat what you like, then.

 

salt safe

Posted: 10th, May 2017 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


United Airlines cancels flight man because he recorded his complaint

united airlines flight abuse beaten weight

 

Air travel has become an ordeal, a trail of weight, size and endurance. And that’s all before you board the plane.

 

United Airlines booted Navang Oza from a flight because having been asked to pay $300 for an overweight bag – he says the same bag cost him £125 on a previous flight –  he wanted to record any conversation he had with the agent. But this annoyed her. So she canceled his ticket, forcing him to buy another ticket on another airline to get home.

 

Spotter: SFGate

Posted: 10th, May 2017 | In: The Consumer | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Costa Coffee Salford offers its toilet as a birthday party venue

Anyone looking for a compact and bijou venue for a birthday party, a UKIP conference, an intimate wedding or just a place to mingle with fellow urban badger enthusiasts after work can head long to Costa Coffee in Salford. The toilet is available for hire.

 

Costa Coffee Salford hire

 

Spotter: @ThePoke

Posted: 9th, May 2017 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dutch building features emojis as modern-day grotesques

Dutch architect Attika Architekten has included emojis in place of more traditional roundels on a block of flats in Vathorst. The emoji gargoyles grotesques date the building for future historians.

 

emojis building

 

“In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade,” Attika architect Changiz Tehrani tells t Verge. “So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!'”

Originally designed by Shigetaka Kurita and released by the Japanese company NTT DoCoMo in 1999, emojis started out as 176 very basic 12 by 12 pixel designs (which are now in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art). The set has since grown to include 1,088 symbols, with everything from a wad of money with wings to a top hat, ready to serve your every texting need.

 

emoji building holland

 

Spotter: ArtNetAttika

PS: thanks to reader for telling me: “Not water spouts, so not gargoyles. Grotesques.” Change made.

Posted: 6th, May 2017 | In: The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Nomadic Gardener: this man will hire your garden to grow his vegetables in

 

Jim Kovaleski is the nomadic gardener, a doyen of “portable farming” at one point he hies your garden to grow his produce in.

This nomadic gardener travels between Maine to Florida gardening leased front yards. With a frugal lifestyle and revenues as high as $1.5K a week, he’s living the dream.

It’s win-win. You rent out your land for an itinerant worker to farm. You, the gardener and your land become useful and profitable parts of society. If the price of land is lowered because of this new industry, then good. Landu s the largest inout cost. Reduce that and we should rejoice.

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 4th, May 2017 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Have our ashes pressed into an playable vinyl LP

and-vinyly lp death ashes

 

When you die And Vinyly will work your remains into a playable vinyl record. No, they won’t turn your arm into a novelty stylus limb and play the wrinkles on your flattened face. You need to be cremated and have your ashes pressed into an LP.

If you want to, as the company promises, “Live on from beyond the groove”, it’ll cost you $4,000 for 30 copies of the record, each with a dash of you and running for 12 minutes per side. The one downer – other than being dead (vinyl never dies!) – is that you cannot “use copyright-protected music”.

But looking aside from the restrictions, as Dan Colman wonders, what music would you forever like to be linked with?

Spotter: Mental Floss

Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover sketch is for sale

John Lennon's former home found an old sketchbook containing this tiny sketch of the john lennon art Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

is everything a famous name does worth preserving or owning? When the owners of John Lennon’s former home found one of the singer’s old sketchbook they noticed it contained a small sketch of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. It’s for sale at auction, where the 4 1/4 by 4 1/4 inches doodle is expected to fetch up to $60k.

Julien’s Live auctions trails the find:

An ink on paper sketch by John Lennon of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover with Lennon’s handwriting of the album’s title on the central bass drum in the image. The drawing was found in a sketchbook left in Lennon’s former home, Kenwood in Surrey, England, and recovered by the new owners. The design of the album cover is known to have been executed by artist Peter Blake based on drawings provided by Paul McCartney. All of The Beatles contributed to the design of the cover in some way. It is unknown how this undated drawing figures into the history of the album cover and Lennon’s involvement.

 

paul mcartney album beatles

 

At the same auction you can buy a Paul McCartney signed copy of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for $1,000.

Where there’s ink there’s brass.

Posted: 2nd, May 2017 | In: Celebrities, Music, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


F.T. Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook: the recipe for every faddish dinner you’ve ever had

Faddish, modish food was played with brilliantly in 1932, when Italian futurist Filippo Marinetti (1876–1944) published Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook, a cookbook that would trigger a “revolution of cuisine”. Humans, said Marinetti, “think, dream and act according to what they eat and drink”.

 

futurist-cookbook FT MArinetti

 

The introduction is choice:

Contrary to the predictable criticisms, the Futurist culinary revolution, illustrated in this volume, is aimed at the high end, noble and useful at all to radically change the power of our race, fortifying, dynamizing and spiritualizing it with brand new dishes in which experience, intelligence and imagination economically replace the amount, the banality, repetition and the cost. Our futuristic kitchen, set like a seaplane engine for high speeds, will seem crazy to some trembling and dangerous traditionalist. It wants to eventually create a harmony between the palate of men and their lives today and tomorrow… It is optimism at the table.

Suzanne Brill notes:

Futurist food was full of suggestiveness and provocation. Sex was one topic, the thrill of air travel another. Along with recipes for “Sculpted Meat” and “Man-and-Woman-at-Midnight” came whole scenarios for acting out themed meals while sitting in a biplane. The art chefs of our day, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, surely perpetuate what Marinetti began.

By way of a taster, here’s the recipe for The Excited Pig: A “whole salami, skinned” is cooked in strong espresso coffee and flavored with eau-de-cologne.”

Spotter: Flashbak, which has a lot more on FT Marinetti’s recipe book.

Posted: 1st, May 2017 | In: Books, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The year my father got my mother a hoover for Christmas 1984

he year my father got my mother a hoover for Christmas 1984.

 

On Reddit, Mr-Irrelevance recalls Christmas 1984, when his father gifted his mother a hoover. The picture of her present is fabulous.

Below the photo, others share their gift memories:

When I was a kid my dad pulled something similar. Mom had been dropping hints for months that she wanted speakers in the kitchen. Christmas morning arrives and Dad gives Mom her big present! I remember her saying “oh I wonder what this is!?” with a big smile on her face as she began to open it. When she realized what it really was the smile faded and the twinkle was gone from her eyes. Instead of speakers dad had gotten her a fucking ironing board. She looked at him hoping it was a joke but no…Dad was really that stupid. The next day Dad went out and bought some really expensive speakers. – foxpoint

I used to work for a charity and at Christmas we would have a stall in the mall where we wrapped up gifts in return for a donation to the charity. It was mainly men who used this service. I always remember the elderly gentlemen who came over full of excitement that he’d found a present that he thought his wife really wanted – it was an ironing board cover. Not even a whole ironing board; just the cover. Imagining Christmas morning in their house made me sad. – TrappedUnderCats

Spotter: Reddit, via Flashbak

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


500 Years of “Vulgar Tongue” Slang In One Dictionary

Green’s Dictionary of Slang

 

If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning of obscure words, Green’s Dictionary of Slang is the place to go.

“The three volumes of Green’s Dictionary of Slang demonstrate the sheer scope of a lifetime of research by Jonathon Green, the leading slang lexicographer of our time. A remarkable collection of this often reviled but endlessly fascinating area of the English language, it covers slang from the past five centuries right up to the present day, from all the different English-speaking countries and regions. Totaling 10.3 million words and over 53,000 entries, the collection provides the definitions of 100,000 words and over 413,000 citations. Every word and phrase is authenticated by genuine and fully-referenced citations of its use, giving the work a level of authority and scholarship unmatched by any other publication in this field.

Green tells us a bout the roots of slang:

Slang is a product of the city and without cities there is no slang. London was a great city – in contemporary terms – by the 16th century, and was seen as such before that. It had upper, middle and working classes. But slang is also a product of the street, a bottom-up creation, and as such condemned as a debased and marginal lexis. In a world where printing was still a relative novelty, and books therefore tended to be devoted to the concerns of the educated and powerful, slang was simply ignored. It is my belief that just as the criminals of the 16th century used their own non-standard language, there existed alongside it a non-criminal slang vocabulary, used primarily, as it is now, by the poor.

He adds:

I would call slang a ‘counter-language’, the desire of human beings, when faced by a standard version, of whatever that may be, to come up with something different, perhaps parallel, perhaps oppositional. For me, that is what slang does in terms of language.

See more at Green’s Dictionary of Slang. I hope to featrrue his writings and work on Flashbak

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Air Canada bumps young boy from overbooked flight

Someone give Macaulay Culkin a hose down and get John Hughes on the phone: Home Alone has a sequel. Cole Doyle, 10, was on his way to Costa Rica last month. Travelling with his family, Cole was looking forward to sun, sea and sloths. But he was prevented from boarding the Air Canada flight because the airline had oversold tickets and bumped him from the passenger list.

His family hadn’t already all passed though checkin in, leaving young Cole alone at Charlottetown Airport. They didn’t put him on another plane – the wrong flight! – causing him to accidentally fly to North Korea. (Call me John , I have ideas.) They drove to Montreal in an effort to connect with a flight there. But that flight was cancelled. So they drove to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they stayed overnight in a hotel and caught a flight the following day.

(John, the movie is writing itself. And get Chevy Chase.)

Air Canada has apologised and offered the family a C$2,500 voucher (£1,495), which expires in one year. The airline also paid their expenses.

An Air Canada spokeswoman tells the Vancouver Sun: ‘We are currently following up to understand what went wrong and have apologised to Mr Doyle and his family as well as offered a very generous compensation to the family for their inconvenience.”

It’s not all that generous, though, is it? Cash would have been better.

Posted: 19th, April 2017 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Buy a flag that went to the moon

flags apollo 15

 

Aboard the 1971 Apollo 15 mission (July 26 – August 7, 1971) was a secret stash of USA flags. Astronaut David Scott had no idea they were there. “This [hidden pouch] was apparently unknown to anybody else until the (Portable Life Support System’s Oxygen Purge System where the pouch was stowed were) disassembled after the mission by some other member of the CSD (Crew Systems Division) and the flag package was discovered,” says Scott.

 

 

And now you can buy one of these well-travelled 7.5 by 4 inch wavers.

 

Apollo 15 Commander David Scott.

 

Spotter: Collect Space, which is selling the item.

Posted: 21st, March 2017 | In: The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


James Brown’s miracle cape is for sale

Start saving up. Reach down the back of the sofa. Consider getting along on one lung. James Brown’s cape is for sale. You’ll needed around £25,000 to get it.

The silver sequinned cape was gifted to the soul singer by Michael Jackson.

Anyone investing in this cape will, of course, be empowered with restorative a force that defies medical experts and the brightest minds. Picture the scene: exhausted and stumbling you reach for the warmth and security the cape gives. No sooner is it about your drooping shoulders than you feel its godly force. You are restored to full vigour.

As such we can expect to see lots of Olympic athletes, Russian tennis players and British cyclists bidding for the item. Look, ma! No needles! (Although any pills you find in the hem you use at your own risk.)

 

silver cape james brown

 

 

silver cape james brown

 

Take ’em away, James Brown:

 

Spotter: Swann Galleries.

Posted: 18th, March 2017 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Fashion windows: clear knee mom jeans

Are your knees your best feature? Or perhaps you have eyes where your knees are and need to see when you’re wearing trousers? Well – finally! – help is here with ‘Clear Knee Mom Jeans’, the height of peek-a-boo denim fashion.

Clear Knee Mom Jeans from Nordstrom are imported (from where, we’re not sure?):

 

Slick plastic panels bare your knees for a futuristic feel in tapered and cropped high-waist jeans.

Clear Knee Mom Jeans

 

Clear Knee Mom Jeans

 

Spotter:

Posted: 13th, March 2017 | In: Fashion, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tinder Select is quarantine for every syphilis-sacked SADO

Tinder select

The VIP entrance

 

Good news, shaggers. As you swipe left and right, chances are thinner than Donald Trump’s skin you’ll encounter a Hooray Henrietta, Premier League footballer, third-world despot or SADO (sons and daughters of…) because there’s a secret breeding stables called Tinder Select.

This is where the inbreds and syphilis sufferers in the celebrity Petri dish get quarantined, leaving functioning people for the rest of us to squire.

I’d imagine Tinder Select operates bit like the mobile toilets on a Hollywood film set or the broom cupboard in a London eatery, where dynasty-building nepotists and narcissists grab a life affirming knee-trembler.

You mustn’t feel jealous of the Tinder select crowd. They’ve been out in their place to spare the rest of us.

Spotter: Engadget

Posted: 9th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


TSA expects more sexual assault claims from its new pat-down search technique

To enter America, you might need to let America enter you. If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) thinks that you’re suspicious, you get the pat down. Your genitals are cupped, your anus is probed and your breasts undergo a vigorous investigation. And it’s getting more invasive. Now TSA offices have been advised to tell police to expect more accusations of sexual assault from holidaymakers and other travellers.

 

TSA

 

The TSA’s new standardised pat-down is more “comprehensive”, says  Bloomberg. Right now, the TSA tells uniformed frotters:

TSA officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.

The front hand will now be used more frequently.

“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday. The shift from the previous, risk-based assessment on which pat-down procedure an officer should apply was phased in over the past two weeks after tests at smaller airports, he said.

The TSA screens about 2 million people daily at U.S. airports. The agency doesn’t track how many passengers are subject to pat-down searches after they pass through an imaging scanner. People who decline to use this screening technology are automatically subject to physical searches.

While passengers may find the process more intrusive, the new screening procedure isn’t expected to increase overall airport security delays. However, “for the person who gets the pat down, it will slow them down,” Anderson said.

 

Especially if they have trouble walking afterwards.

Spotter: Consumerist

Posted: 8th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


You can buy George W. Bush’s portraits of US military veterans

Former US president George W. Bush’s portrait of post-9/11 US veterans is on sale. Called Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, all author proceeds will be donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, “a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war”.

The book’s authorship and the eponymous ‘Center’ suggest the project is mostly about Bush, rather than the veterans. But do we mind the grandstanding so long as the hurt get help?

Can we overlook what many see as the ‘lies‘ that led to Bush declaring the “second stage of the war on terror” on 11 March 2002, six months after 9/11? The Bush administration went looking for the enemy. It identified Saddam Hussein and then hunted around for a cause to get him. Was the Iraqi leader behind 9/11? Did Saddam have Weapons of mass destruction?

Was it as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it ‘the latest chapter in the culture wars, the conservative dream of restoring America’s sense of Manifest Destiny. Extirpating Saddam is about proving how tough we are to a world that thinks we got soft when that last helicopter left the roof of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975’?

 

bush portraits courage

 

Is this book a self-help book for Bush, who only continued the long-held US policy of intervening in foreign affairs?

The book’s blurb tells us:

Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation’s call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.

So long as it helps, right…

Posted: 5th, March 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Champagne Gun: make mine a magnum

champagne gun

 

The champagne gun might be the most stupid thing we’ve ever seen. And we love it. Fire at will!

 

Posted: 22nd, February 2017 | In: The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Turning an £80 bottle of melted iceberg water into whine

I love bottled water. It makes the humble look exceptional. One Guardian writer is less impressed. She says bottled water is “ignorant, insensitive and irresponsible”. You see how interesting water has become. A simple glass of water is now steeped in meaning. You can talk about at dinner parties. Katherine Purvis says, “It’s just another ugly indicator of our world’s many inequalities”. Discuss.

We’ve reached peak bottled water. From today, for a sweet £80, Harrods will sell ‘luxury water’ harvested from icebergs off the coast of Svalbard.

If people want to spend lots of cash on bottled water, so be it.

In other hydration news to natter about, the Guardian says Brexit ‘threatens the craft beer revolution’.

The paper attempts to answer the questions they’re all asking in Sudan, ‘So what’s the best wine club to join?’ and ‘Are expensive wines worth the money?’. One writer warns that if you do spend £100 on a bottle of wine ‘you’d better be braced for sanctimony and ridicule’.

Another Guardian writer is struggling: ‘With champagne being promoted at anything between £9 and £126 this Christmas, it’s almost impossible to know what’s good value.’

No kidding.

Anyhow, mine’s a pint of melted artisan ice-berg (hold the celebrity). I’m driving.

 

Posted: 16th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0